Almost 100 people gathered at the Riverbank Hotel on Monday night last to celebrate the presentation of FETAC awards to participants on Wexford Local Development Training Programmes.

Family, friends and colleagues applauded loudly as people received their certificates from Pat Rath, Chairman of Wexford Local Development. The training programmes were developed so as to match growth areas identified as providing potential employment opportunities in Wexford. These areas are Healthcare, Social Studies, Thermal Insulation, Tourism and Sports and Recreation.

“We are delighted to run these programmes which are just the beginning for some of the people here tonight who we hope will continue with their education and training and maximise their job prospects in the future ” he said.

“Wexford Local Development have responded to the unprecended level of unemployment in this county, which has suffered more than most from the collapse of the construction industry and the general downturn.  We are providing local opportunities to up skill in the whole area of Thermal Insulation and energy efficiency by running courses in our purpose built training workshop ”

Michael Barry from Wexford who successfully completed his major award at FETAC Level 5 in Sports & Recreation spoke frankly about his experiences.

“ I left school early to go into construction but then found myself unemployed. After a while my  confidence completely ebbed away.  I signed up for the course with Wexford Local Development but I did not know what to expect and was very nervous about the assignments I would have to do. However the tutors were great and supported me all the way.  The lads on the course were also great and the whole experience has given me my confidence back. I am now actively looking to do some coaching with young people and maybe look at teaching.  I would encourage anybody out there who wants to do something new to contact Wexford Local Development.”  Said Michael

Another two participants Suzanne Danielson and Elizabeth Lawlor from Enniscorthy also spoke about their experience on the Tourism programme.   “ After moving back to Ireland I found myself unemployed and signed up for the Tourism course.  Having learned so much about Wexford, it’s heritage and culture, and the confidence boost that the course gave me, I am now actively exploring the possibility of starting my own tourism business “ said Suzanne.

Once more, Elizabeth spoke about how being unemployed drains away your confidence and self- esteem and how her participation on the programme gave her new friendships and a brighter future. “ Had I not done the course I would not have been able to stand up here and speak like I am this evening “ she said.

“ I would encourage anyone who wants to make a change to contact WLD and sign up for any of the wide range of courses they have on offer “ she added.

Contact:  Ann Dempsey, Enterpise & Employment Co-ordinator tel: 053 9155800

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